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Meghan McCain hits out at Biden’s Afghanistan speech

Meghan McCain has hit out at President Joe Biden after he gave a speech on Afghanistan, saying in an honest message: ‘I do not recognize this man.’

The president said on Tuesday that the operation to evacuate U.S. troops out of Kabul – that left 13 US service members dead – was an ‘extraordinary success’.

Biden and McCain’s late father Senator John McCain were long-time friends, despite sitting on opposite sides of the aisle, with the president being one of the pallbearers at Republican McCain’s 2018 funeral.

Writing that Democrat Biden had ‘helped me through pain and grief,’ Meghan McCain then tore into the president’s speech, taking particular issue with the president saying the U.S. withdrawal from Kabul couldn’t have been carried out in a more orderly manner.

Meghan McCain (pictured right with then-Vice President Joe Biden on ‘The View’ in 2017 as he consoles her over her father’s health issues) has now hit out at President Joe Biden after he gave a speech on Afghanistan, saying in an honest message: ‘I do not recognize this man’

 

Pictured: McCain took to Twitter on Tuesday after President Biden's speech. Writing that Biden had 'helped me through pain and grief,' Meghan McCain then tore into the president's speech, taking particular issue with the president saying the U.S. withdrawal from Kabul couldn't have been carried out in a more orderly manner

Pictured: McCain took to Twitter on Tuesday after President Biden’s speech. Writing that Biden had ‘helped me through pain and grief,’ Meghan McCain then tore into the president’s speech, taking particular issue with the president saying the U.S. withdrawal from Kabul couldn’t have been carried out in a more orderly manner

President Joe Biden on Tuesday said the US troop withdrawal from Kabul was an 'extraordinary success' and blamed Donald Trump and local soldiers for the chaos in Afghanistan

President Joe Biden on Tuesday said the US troop withdrawal from Kabul was an ‘extraordinary success’ and blamed Donald Trump and local soldiers for the chaos in Afghanistan 

‘Some say we should have started mass evacuations sooner and [ask] ‘Couldn’t this have be done — have been done in a more orderly manner?’ I respectfully disagree,’ Biden said in the speech.

‘Imagine if we had begun evacuations in June or July, bringing in thousands of American troops and evacuating more than 120,000 people in the middle of a civil war,’ he continued.

‘There still would have been a rush to the airport, a breakdown in confidence and control of the government, and it still would have been a very difficult and dangerous mission.’

In response, McCain tweeted: ‘[Thirteen] American soldiers are dead – most of them between the ages of 20-23 because they were put in harms [sic] way chaotically in the line of fire of a suicide bomber. 

‘Disappointed and disgusted President Biden says ‘this couldn’t have been done in a more orderly manner’.’

Five minutes later, she wrote another tweet, continuing her rebuke: ‘This is extremely difficult for me to say: I once thought I truly knew Joe Biden and he helped me through pain and grief, for which I am grateful.

Biden and McCain's late father Senator John McCain were long-time friends, despite sitting on opposite sides of the aisle. Pictured: U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is awarded the 2017 Liberty Medal by former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the Independence Hall in Philadelphia

Biden and McCain’s late father Senator John McCain were long-time friends, despite sitting on opposite sides of the aisle. Pictured: U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is awarded the 2017 Liberty Medal by former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden at the Independence Hall in Philadelphia

‘This man on tv giving this speech, I do not recognize this man,’ she added. ‘God help our country. God help the Americans we have abandoned.’

In a third tweet, the former co-host of ‘The View’ questioned whether Biden’s White House administration truly believed they represented a ‘return to normalcy’.

‘[T]his is just as chaotic as Trump, just in a different way,’ she said. ‘Americans and our country and most importantly our military will not be able to withstand four years of this.’

The close friendship between Joe Biden and John McCain – a veteran of the Vietnam war, Republican Senator for Arizona for over 30 years and the Republican presidential candidate in 2008 – was well documented.

John McCain was shot down during a bombing mission during Operation Rolling Thunder over Hanoi in October 1967, and was seriously injured, and captured by the North Vietnamese. 

He was a prisoner of war until 1973, and while being held captive, was subject to torture, and sustained lifelong injuries. 

McCain’s wife Cindy endorsed Biden for president last year ahead of former president Donald Trump.

Pictured: Joe Biden arrives at the Washington National Cathedral for the funeral service for the late Senator John McCain, September 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. Biden was a pallbearer at McCain's fineral, with the two's friendship being well recorded

Pictured: Joe Biden arrives at the Washington National Cathedral for the funeral service for the late Senator John McCain, September 1, 2018 in Washington, DC. Biden was a pallbearer at McCain’s fineral, with the two’s friendship being well recorded 

‘My husband John lived by a code: country first,’ Cindy McCain tweeted last September. ‘We are Republicans, yes, but Americans foremost. There’s only one candidate in this race who stands up for our values as a nation, and that is @JoeBiden.’

Meghan McCain herself was a regular critic of Trump, and expressed relief at Biden’s 2020 election victory at the time. 

In June 2021, Biden rewarded McCain for her support with the nomination to serve as the US Ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture. 

In 2017, Biden appeared on ‘The View’ along-side Meghan McCain where he was shown on television consoling her other her father’s health issues. The pair discussed Biden’s late son Beau Biden, who passed away in 2015 from brain cancer.

‘I think about Beau almost every day and I was told that this doesn’t get easier but that you cultivate the tools to work with this and live with this,’ Meghan McCain said at the time, her voice breaking. ‘I know you and your family have been through tragedy I couldn’t conceive of.’ 

Biden moved to sit next to her on studio’s couch and consoled her, telling her that it was possible a medical breakthrough could happen.

However, McCain’s husband has claimed she didn’t vote for Biden last November, according to the New York Post.   

But this is not the first time she has criticized the president. Speaking on August 19, she told ‘The View’ Biden was ‘unfit to lead’ and ‘like Jimmy Carter on acid’ over the disastrous retreat from Afghanistan

‘I have been physically ill, more depressed than I have been since the beginning stages of the pandemic and filled nothing short of pure rage and anger since the calamity of a ‘pull out’ which will be seen as one of the greatest foreign policy catastrophes of my lifetime,’ she said in an Instagram post. 

The former View co-host gave a withering assessment of Biden on Thursday

The former View co-host gave a withering assessment of Biden on Thursday

‘I am furious our President was so incompetent not to see what every expert on the planet could have seen coming,’ McCain continued.

‘I am furious for my friends and family who have been fighting in these wars since I was 16 (many who have lost limbs, had their life terrorized by PTSD from their experiences in war and deployments, or worse). I am furious seeing our allies and innocent Afghan citizens who trusted us are being left to be slaughtered or so desperate to escape the pure evil the Taliban will bring in that they are falling out of f***ing planes,’ wrote McCain.

‘This is not who America is, this is not the values this country was founded in. Our veterans deserve better, the innocent Afghan people and our allies and translators who have stood by us for the past 20 years deserve better’ she went on. 

‘The shame, dishonor and embarrassment the Biden administration has brought to our country will take generations to undo. Not to mention our standing in the world and the cruel reality that the likelihood of another significant domestic terror attack has now risen to the highest levels since 9/11 and will usher in ISIS 3.0. – I could say so much more (and have been raging on twitter), but please reach out to your veteran friends and their families – everyone I know is struggling,’ McCain added. 

‘May God have mercy for what we have done to these people abandoning them. Biden is unfit to lead and I am nothing short of disgusted he and his staff can’t seem to be bothered to leave their vacation during an international crisis of our own creation. There should be an emergency congressional hearing before more innocent lives are lost. My heart is broken, this tragedy will absolutely haunt our country. Also – every single Afghan refugee fleeing must be granted a safe haven in America!’ she concluded.  

Speaking on Tuesday in an address, a defiant Biden said the operation couldn’t have been done in a ‘more orderly manner’ and ‘respectfully disagreed’ with critics who said he should have started the evacuation sooner to avoid the chaos.

The president also hailed the 120,000 people they have gotten to safety in ‘one of the biggest airlifts in history’, vowed to keep working to get Afghan allies out and said the State Department had reached out to stranded Americans 19 times since March asking if they wanted to leave.  

Biden spoke passionately as he defended his actions, at times waving his arms and gripping the podium, amid intense criticism from Democrats, many Republicans and fellow world leaders about his handling of the U.S. drawdown.  

Eleven Marines, a Special Forces member and a Navy Corpsman were all killed in the ISIS-K suicide attack last Thursday as US forces frantically tried to get people on evacuation flights before the August 31 deadline. 

Thousands of local allies and at least 100 U.S. citizens are still stuck and facing threats from the Taliban. Afghans desperate to leave ran after US planes on the tarmac and two fell out of the skies to their deaths in a bid to escape the rule of the insurgents. 

The Taliban have also tightened their grip on Afghanistan and are holding mock funerals for Western troops, reportedly beating female cops and a retired three-star general has warned America’s return is ‘inevitable’.

In the lengthy remarks, where he refused to take shouted questions from reporters, Biden argued the world was changing and brought up his late son Beau, an Iraq War veteran who died of brain cancer. He cited cyber threats from Russia and China as among the modern concerns America must face.  

‘Let me be clear. Leaving August 31 is not due to an arbitrary deadline. It was designed to save American lives,’ Biden said in his first public remarks since the final US soldier left Hamid Karzai International Airport on Monday night. 

After, the president took to Twitter to continue his defense of the withdrawal, saying that the US presence in Afghanistan ran counter to US national security interests, and vowed to continue supporting the Afghan people through diplomacy, international influence and aid. 

‘This decision about Afghanistan is not just about Afghanistan. It is about ending an era of major military operations to remake other countries,’ he wrote in a series of tweets.  

‘The fundamental obligation of a President is to defend America. Not against the threats of 2001, but against the threats of 2021 and tomorrow,’ he continued.

‘I do not believe the safety and security of America is enhanced by continuing to deploy thousands of American troops in Afghanistan.’ 

The Taliban celebrated the American withdraw by hosting mock funerals with coffins draped with the US, UK and French flags as well as NATO’s insignia. They launched fireworks into the Kabul skyline and flaunted the American weapons and equipment they obtained that U.S. military personnel left behind. 

August 31 was the deadline Biden set earlier this year and stuck to despite pleas from some Democratic lawmakers who were veterans and his fellow world leaders, who used a G7 virtual meeting to plead with him to keep boots on the ground longer. 

But Biden argued Trump, his predecessor in the Oval Office, tied his hands on the matter. He noted Trump signed a deal with the Taliban to leave by May 1 and that shackled his options. 

Pictured: Biden attends the dignified transfer of the remains of fallen service members at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, August, 29, 2021. Thirteen members of the US military were killed in an ISIS-K suicide attack last Thursday as US forces frantically tried to get people on evacuation flights

Pictured: Biden attends the dignified transfer of the remains of fallen service members at Dover Air Force Base in Dover, Delaware, August, 29, 2021. Thirteen members of the US military were killed in an ISIS-K suicide attack last Thursday as US forces frantically tried to get people on evacuation flights

Afghans desperate to leave ran after US planes on the tarmac of KAbul airport, and two fell out of the skies to their deaths in a bid to escape the rule of the Taliban insurgents

Afghans desperate to leave ran after US planes on the tarmac of KAbul airport, and two fell out of the skies to their deaths in a bid to escape the rule of the Taliban insurgents

‘My predecessor, the former president, signed an agreement with the Taliban to remove U.S. troops by May 1, just months after I was inaugurated,’ he said. 

He said that agreement allowed the release of 5,000 prisoners last year. ‘including some of the Taliban’s top war commanders among those that just took control of Afghanistan.’

‘By the time I came to office, the Taliban was in its strongest military position since 2001,’ Biden said.

He painted the decision to leave as a ‘simple’ one: ‘Either follow-through on the commitment made by the last administration and leave Afghanistan or say we weren’t leaving and commit another tens of thousands more troops going back to war. That was the choice, the real choice.’  

After his spoken remarks, Biden took to Twitter Tuesday evening to continue his defense of the withdrawal, and vowed to continue to support the Afghan people through aid and diplomacy

After his spoken remarks, Biden took to Twitter Tuesday evening to continue his defense of the withdrawal, and vowed to continue to support the Afghan people through aid and diplomacy

‘I was not going to extend the war,’ Biden said, his voice rising as he spoke. 

He defended specific criticism he faced, including questions about the remaining Americans – estimated between 100 to 200 – still in Afghanistan.

He vowed to bring them home.  

‘For those remaining Americans, there is no deadline. We remain committed to get them out if they want to come out,’ he said. Biden told ABC News earlier this month he wouldn’t remove U.S. troops until all Americans were home. 

He also defended the evacuation after last week’s suicide bombing killed 13 U.S. service members and hundreds of Afghan allies.

‘We completed one of the biggest airlifts in history with more than 120,000 people evacuated to safety.’

He also blamed the Afghan leaders for not doing their part.  

He conceded that he under estimated how long the Afghan government would hang on. The Taliban essentially took control of the country on August 15.

‘The assumption was that more than 300,000 Afghan national security forces that we had trained over the past two decades and equipped would be a strong adversary in their civil wars with the Taliban. That assumption that the Afghan government would hold on for a period of time beyond military draw down turned out not to be accurate,’ he admitted.

There are reports the Taliban harsh rule has returned. A top Afghan female cop is on the run after suffering a ‘brutal beating’ from them. She was singled out by the Taliban as a target at the gates outside Hamid Karzai international airport in Kabul, where she spent five nights attempting to secure a place on an evacuation flight.

The president pushed back against critics who said the evacuation should have started sooner. He said it would have been chaos no matter when it started.

‘I respectfully disagree. Imagine if we begun an evacuation in June or July, bringing thousands of American troops and evacuating more than 120,000 people in the middle of a civil war. There still would have been a rush to the airport. A breakdown of confidence and control of the government and still would have been very difficult and dangerous mission. The bottom line is, there’s no evacuation from the end of a war that you can run without the kinds of complexities and challenges and threats we faced, none,’ he said. 

Families of the fallen U.S. service members were left disappointed by Joe Biden at the dignified transfer on Sunday. One sister of a fallen Marine yelled at the president: 'I hope you burn in hell! That was my brother!'

Families of the fallen U.S. service members were left disappointed by Joe Biden at the dignified transfer on Sunday. One sister of a fallen Marine yelled at the president: ‘I hope you burn in hell! That was my brother!’

He paid tribute to the ‘selfless courage’ displayed by U.S. service members and diplomatic staff for evacuating Americans and Afghan allies from Kabul. 

They ‘did their job and did it well,’ Biden said. 

The president mentioned his trip to Dover over the weekend to witness the return of the service member remains and meet with families. But the White House has refused to discuss the conversations.  And there are reports some family members were angry with the president.

Mark Schmitz, the father of Lance Corporal Jared Schmitz, told The Washington Post that he showed a picture of his son to Biden and told the president: ‘Don’t you ever forget that name. Don’t you ever forget that face. Don’t you ever forget the names of the other 12. And take some time to learn their stories.’

He recalled that Biden didn’t seem to like those comments.

‘I do know their stories,’ Schmitz detailed that the president shot back.

Schmitz also said that a sister of a fallen troop yelled at the president after receiving the remains on Sunday: ‘I hope you burn in hell! That was my brother!’

Biden will now have to rely on cooperation with the Taliban (pictured in Kabul on Tuesday) to try and get the remaining Afghan allies and American citizens out

Biden will now have to rely on cooperation with the Taliban (pictured in Kabul on Tuesday) to try and get the remaining Afghan allies and American citizens out  

Biden also argued the world was different since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan nearly 20 years ago, shortly after the September 11th attacks. 

He said there are new threats America has to deal with. 

‘We succeeded in what we set out to do in Afghanistan over a decade ago. We stayed for another decade. It was time to end this war. This is a new world,’ he said. 

‘The world is changing. We’re engaged in a serious competition with China. We’re dealing with the challenges on multiple fronts with Russia. We’re confronted with cyber attacks and nuclear proliferation,’ he said.

‘We can do both, fight terrorism and take on new threats that are here now and we’ll continue to be here in the future. There’s nothing China or Russia rather that, would want more in this competition that on the United States to be bogged down another decade in Afghanistan,’ he added. 

Biden’s speech, originally scheduled for 1:30 p.m., was pushed back to 2:45 p.m. and then began shortly before 3:30 p.m.

And Tuesday’s speech doesn’t mark the end of the Afghan conundrum for the president. 

He has to deal with the Taliban take over of the country and relocation of thousands of Afghan refugees in the months to come. 

Additionally, Republicans are expected to make it a political issue in the 2022 midterms.   

Lawrence, Massachusetts residents gather at Veterans Memorial Stadium to participate in a vigil for Marine Sargent Rohanny Rosario Pichardo who was killed last week by a suicide bomber during the evacuation of the United States from Kabul

Lawrence, Massachusetts residents gather at Veterans Memorial Stadium to participate in a vigil for Marine Sargent Rohanny Rosario Pichardo who was killed last week by a suicide bomber during the evacuation of the United States from Kabul

Massachusetts Governor Charales Baker speaks to Lawrence residents on Tuesday night

Massachusetts Governor Charales Baker speaks to Lawrence residents on Tuesday night

Pictured: People wave American flags at a vigil in Massachusetts for Marine Sargent Rohanny Rosario Pichardo who was killed last week

Pictured: People wave American flags at a vigil in Massachusetts for Marine Sargent Rohanny Rosario Pichardo who was killed last week

And the president’s approval rating has taken a nose dive in the wake of the Afghanistan evacuation and withdrawal. Only 38% of Americans approved of his handling of the situation, according to a ABC News/Ipsos survey released Sunday. 

The situation also has hurt Biden’s campaign argument that he should be elected for his competence and experience. Some Democrats, many Republicans and foreign allies had pleaded with him to extend the August 31st deadline but the administration argued it would not make a significant difference on the ground there. 

Meanwhile, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told ABC’s Good Morning America that the U.S. intends to continue sending health, food and other forms of humanitarian aid to the Afghan people. 

He also said that other forms of cash aid, including economic and developmental assistance, would depend on whether the Taliban ‘follow through on their commitments’ including to allow safe passage for Americans still in Afghanistan.

‘It’s going to be up to them and we will wait and see by their actions how we end up responding in terms of the economic and developmental assistance,’ he said. 

Sullivan insisted that any aid would flow through ‘international institutions’ and not directly to the Taliban, however the militant group is now in full control of the country’s government and banking system. 

Biden invokes late son Beau again amid criticism over the 13 US service members killed in Kabul

In his first address since the US’ historic and chaotic final withdrawal from Afghanistan, President Biden defended his withdrawal – even as he laid blame on President Trump and the Afghan security forces – and again brought up his late son, Beau, who died in 2015 at the age of 46 from brain cancer.  

‘I don’t think enough people understand how much we have asked of the 1% of this country who put that uniform on, willing to put their lives on the line in defense of our nation. Maybe it’s because my deceased son Beau served in Iraq for a full year.’  

‘Let me be clear. Leaving August 31 is not due to an arbitrary deadline. It was designed to save American lives,’ Biden said in his first public remarks since the final US soldier left Hamid Karzai International Airport on Monday night.

Biden has of late been thinking often of the tragic loss of his son, as is evidenced by the frequent references in his remarks. Beau wasn’t killed in combat, though the president has at times questioned whether his exposure to burn pits had a hand in causing his cancer. 

Last week, 13 US service members were killed, and some of the Gold Star families said that they were a bit disappointed the president kept bringing up his late son, as he tried to relate to their fresh sense of loss and devastation. 

Here are the times the president has called to mind his deceased son as he’s dealt with the Afghanistan chaos:   

Aug. 31- Remarks after troop withdrawal

‘I don’t think enough people understand how much we have asked of the 1% of this country who put that uniform on, willing to put their lives on the line in defense of our nation. Maybe it’s because my deceased son Beau served in Iraq for a full year.’

Biden was speaking after the drawdown of troop presence in Afghanistan, as Americans and allies were still stuck on the ground. He defended his decision to pull out, even as he laid blame on a peace deal struck by President Trump. 

Aug. 29- Conversations with families of slain troops

Mark Schmitz, father of 20-year-old Jared who died in the suicide bombing in Kabul,  told the Washington Post that when he met with Biden he spent much time talking about Beau.

‘When he just kept talking about his son so much it was just — my interest was lost in that. I was more focused on my own son than what happened with him and his son,’ Schmitz said. ‘I’m not trying to insult the president, but it just didn’t seem that appropriate to spend that much time on his own son.’

‘I think it was all him trying to say he understands grief,’ Schmitz added. ‘But when you’re the one responsible for ultimately the way things went down, you kind of feel like that person should own it a little bit more. Our son is now gone. Because of a direct decision or game plan — or lack thereof — that he put in place.’

Biden, right, talks with his son, US Army Capt. Beau Biden, left, at Camp Victory on the outskirts of Baghdad on July 4, 2009

Biden, right, talks with his son, US Army Capt. Beau Biden, left, at Camp Victory on the outskirts of Baghdad on July 4, 2009

Aug. 29- Biden checks his wrist at dignified transfer ceremony

As the bodies of slain US troops were delivered home in Dover, Delaware Sunday, the president was said to have ‘checked his watch’ each time a flag-draped casket was removed from the Air Force C-17. 

‘They would release the salute and he looked down at his watch on every last one,’ Hoover said. ‘All 13, he looked down at his watch.’

Biden wear’s his late son Beau’s rosary on his wrist just above his watch, and the president’s supporters have said he was looking at the rosary rather than checking the time. 

Aug. 26- Remarks after terror attack

 ‘Being the father of an Army major who served for a year in Iraq and, before that, was in Kosovo as a U.S. attorney for the better part of six months in the middle of a war — when he came home after a year in Iraq, he was diagnosed, like many, many coming home, with an aggressive and lethal cancer of the brain — who we lost. 

We have some sense, like many of you do, what the families of these brave heroes are feeling today. You get this feeling like you’re being sucked into a black hole in the middle of your chest; there’s no way out. My heart aches for you.

Biden was speaking after a terrorist attack in Kabul killed 170, including 13 US troops  who were trying to help Americans and allies escape from Taliban rule. 

 Aug. 20- Remarks on the evacuation 

‘Whenever I deploy our troops into harm’s way, I take that responsibility seriously. I carry that burden every day, just as I did when I was Vice President and my son was deployed to Iraq for a year,’ Biden said, explaining his decision to leave.

Later, he pointed to the Trump-era peace deal that promised US troops would be out by May 1. ‘The idea that if I had said on May the 2nd or 3rd, ‘We are not leaving; we are staying’ — does anybody truly believe that I would not have had to put in significantly more American forces — send your sons, your daughters — like my son was sent to Iraq — to maybe die? And for what? For what?’

Aug. 19- Interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos 

In Biden’s first interview as chaos unfolded and the Taliban took over with lightning-fast speed, Stephanopoulos asked what the president would say to those who took issue with his strategy for withdrawal. 

‘I think a lot of Americans, and even a lot of veterans who served in Afghanistan agree with you on the big, strategic picture. They believe we had to get out. But I wonder how you respond to an Army Special Forces officer, Javier McKay (PH). He did seven tours. He was shot twice. He agrees with you. He says, ‘We have to cut our losses in Afghanistan.’ But he adds, ‘I just wish we could’ve left with honor.” Stephanopoulos said.   

‘Look, that’s like askin’ my deceased son Beau, who spent six months in Kosovo and a year in Iraq as a Navy captain and then major– I mean, as an Army major. And, you know, I’m sure h– he had regrets comin’ out of Afganista– I mean, out of Iraq.

He had regrets to what’s– how– how it’s going. But the idea– what’s the alternative? The alternative is why are we staying in Afghanistan? Why are we there? Don’t you think that the one– you know who’s most disappointed in us getting out? Russia and China,’ Biden replied.

July 4- Independence Day celebration remarks 

On the July 4 holiday Biden was sure to reference his son as he thanked US troops for their service. 

‘Like so many military families, thinking of loved ones who served, we think of our son Beau today,’ Biden said. ‘You’re all part of a long chain of patriots who pledged their lives and their sacred honor in defense of this nation and democracy around the world. For freedom and fair play, for peace and security and opportunity. For the cause of justice, for the soul of America itself.’


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